Len garners ACC, NBA attention

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Len garners ACC, NBA attention

In case there was any doubt, Alex Len's performance Friday in Maryland's 72-69 loss to No. 3 Kentucky generated some attention.

In the here and now, the ACC named Len its Player of the Week after the 7-foot-1 center established career highs with 23 points and 12 rebounds against the Wildcats. Seven of the sophomore's boards came on the offensive end and overall Len hit on 10-of-18 from the floor in 32 minutes. For good measure he tacked on four blocks, which matched a career high.

Len's performance against a Kentucky frontcourt loaded with NBA prospects, including heralded freshman center Nerlens Noel, also raised his professsional upside in the minds of talent evaluators.

"Len made himself a lot of money Friday," ESPN Draft analyst Chad Ford said in an Insider column posted Monday. "He had career highs in points (23) and rebounds (12) against the No. 1 player on our Big Board (Noel) and established himself as a potential elite big man prospect in this year's draft."

Ford noted Len's "mixed bag" of a freshman season, which included moments of brilliance followed by games with "almost nothing on either end." That was then

"This season he has added strength and appears to be more confident," Ford wrote. "Equally important is the fact that, with gunner Terrell Stoglin gone, it appears as if Mark Turgeon is finally going to run the offense through Len. If he can keep this up all season, scouts predict he'll go very high in the 2013 NBA draft."

One NBA GM told Ford, "If Enes Kanter can go No. 3 and Jonas Valanciunas No. 5 in a much stronger draft, Len should be able to easily crack the top five if he's going to play like that all year. He's 7-foot-1, is athletic, rebounds, block shots and has offensive skills, and he's producing against legit NBA talent. Those guys don't come along very often."

No they don't, which is why Maryland fans are thrilled to have Len on campus - and hope he sticks around for a while.

Maryland lacrosse Final Four preview

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Maryland lacrosse Final Four preview

The Maryland men's lacrosse program is once again spending Memorial Day Weekend attempting to get the monkey off its back.

The trip to Lincoln Finanical Field in Philadelphia, Penn., will mark the Terps' fifth Final Four appearance since 2011, but each of the previous trips have yielded zero national championships. 

In fact, the Terps (16-2, 5-0 Big Ten) have advanced to three national championship games since 2011,  but are still looking for the program's first title since 1975.

The Terps entered the 2016 NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed for the first time since 1987 and find themselves once again a part of championship weekend thanks to victories over Quinnipiac (13-6) and No. 8 seed Syracuse (13-7).

But in order to reach another national championship game, the Terps will have to get past No. 5 seed Brown, the champions of the Ivy League and  top-ranked team in the country according to the Laxpower.comindex. 

Brown (16-2, 6-1 Ivy) defeated Johns Hopkins 17-6 and Navy 11-10 en route to the program's first Final Four appearance since 1994.

The Terps will have their work cut out for them despite the absence of Brown's top points leader, junior attackman Dylan Molloy, who suffered a broken foot in the win against Johns Hopkins. 

The Bears will call upon senior attackman Kylor Bellestri, a product of the Bullis School in Potomac, Md., to carry the offensive load, and the powerful dodger is more than capable, evident by his 62 goals and 28 assists this season. Aiding Bellestri is senior Henry Blynn, who enters the Final Four with 50 goals to his name.

While Brown does have arguably the most prolific scoring offense in the country, the Terps boast the most efficient defense in the country, and have a talented and experienced goalie in Kyle Bernlohr at the helm. 

Bernlohr was tabbed as a first-team preseason All-American by Inside Lacrosse magazine and has backed it up thanks to an eighth best 7.88 GAA in 2016. 

The Akron, Ohio native tallied 22 saves to just 13 goals in the Terps first two NCAA Tournament games, but will be facing his most difficult test of the season on Saturday afternoon.

But the Terps are more than just an efficient defensive team. The junior attack trio of Matt Rambo, Colin Heacock and Dylan Maltz are as dynamic a trio as ther is in the country, and wreaked havoc on a stout Syracuse team in the quarterfinals. Rambo finished with four goals and two assists, with Maltz scoring three times and Heacock assisting on two goals. 

Opposing teams are forced to exert extra pressure to the Terp' attack, allowing midfielders Henry West, Connor Kelley and Bryan Cole to find time and room up front. Cole has five assists and three goals to his name in the previous two tournament games, with Kelly adding three assists and West three goals.

A victory over Brown will not be easy, but losing is not some the Terps are accustomed to, having won 12 consecutive games since dropping back-to-back losses to Yale and Notre Dame to start the season.

The winner of Maryland vs. Brown will take on the winner of No. 7 Loyola (MD) vs. North Carolina on Monday, May 30 at 1 p.m. ET.

Turgeon comments for first time on new 4-star Terp Jackson

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Turgeon comments for first time on new 4-star Terp Jackson

Maryland has added four-star class of 2016 forward Justin Jackson to its roster, the program made official in a release on Friday evening. 

By doing so, head coach Mark Turgeon is allowed to comment publicly for the first time on the commitment that was reported Thursday.

“Justin has played at the highest level of high school and grassroots basketball and is prepared to make an immediate contribution to our program,” the coach said in a statement. “He is a versatile player who is a skilled scorer, good passer and has the ability to create mismatches on the offensive end.

"Defensively, Justin can guard multiple positions and overall has a great feel for the game."

MORE TERPS: OPINION -- TRIMBLE AVOIDS UNFAIR CRITICISM BY RETURNING

In a frontcourt thinned by NBA defections -- Jake Layman, Robert Carter, and Diamond Stone -- Turgeon had to look late in the spring signing period for a fix.

Coaching changes at UNLV caused the 6-7 Jackson to rescind his pledge to the Rebels and reopen his recruitment. Turgeon and assistant coach Bino Ranson led the way in bringing Jackson to College Park. 

"I felt like I immediately fit in with the student body.  They were all very welcoming and I just enjoyed being a part of the university," Jackson said in a release. "The team is filled with great and funny personalities. But when it is time to work and get serious – they can really buckle down and work hard."

With Jackson in the fold, Maryland has one remaining open scholarship for the 2016-17 season. Read more in a roster breakdown here.

Shawne Merriman likes what D.J. Durkin, Terps are building

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Shawne Merriman likes what D.J. Durkin, Terps are building

Maryland legend Shawne Merriman joined CSN for a wide-ranging Facebook Live session, and revealed he liked the energy of the new Terps football program. Watch the ful linterview above, and be sure to check out Merriman's new line of apparel, Lights Out.